Springing forth from the wood, full of twigs and leaves, the frantic duo of William and Alexandra flew out onto the Observatory grounds, running as fast as their exhausted legs could carry them, and so sprinted with arms pumping at their sides across the lawn, William still squealing in terror.
“Must – run – faster! Must run FASTER!” he panted, passing Alex as she turned for just a moment to look behind.
And there was the little pulsing fae, moving at an unprecedented rate like an angry bumblebee towards them, glowering and glowing like a comet and whizzing for them at full speed.
“Oh AELS!” she cried and pumped her arms and legs, her chest bulged out in strain as she bolted past William and left him in the dust.
“Alex! WAIT!” William called after her, “Head for the Eastern Common Room! Lansing will be there! She’ll heeellpp uuusssss!” he muscled out squeakily as the dreaded jingle of the faerie met his ears, sending him into a mad flailing run of panic.
Alex gasped, running, “How do you know?” she yelled.
“Because!” William panted, “We were suppose to study together! – ah! Oh! For the – ee! For the test!”
Swift, Alex made a hard right, bolting towards the Common Area, the dawn just now peeking out and casting the first pale blue light over the wet grass. Heaving, no longer caring who spotted them, Alex and William weaved through the shrubbery and foliage and buildings, the fae occasionally nipping at William’s shirt sending him shrieking and waving his arms about like a maniac as he jumped over bushes and stomped all over flowerbeds. Alex hit the walkway first and madly she dashed for the Common Room door. It was here she realized that it was still far too early in the morning and that she did not have a key. But unable to stop, her momentum too much, she smashed face first into it, creating the loudest thwamp! and almost buckling herself over, if not for William, who, right behind her, squealing and reeling, came up and smashed into her, both of them falling onto the door, shoving at each other. Rapidly the two banged on the hardwood with all their might, their pounding surely waking every living thing within a five mile radius, calling at the top of their lungs.
“FOR THE LOVE OF AELS – !”
“LET US IN! LET US IN!”
The jingle roared up behind them, and the two screamed, William on the verge of weeping, and just then the door opened and the two fell into the room in a heap. Lansing standing before them dumbstruck.
“What in the Four Points are you do – !” Lansing spoke, before Alex cut her off, leaping to her feet and screaming.
“SHUT THE DOOR! SHUT THE DOOR!”
Up Lansing looked just in time to see the fae flaring to the stoop, and emitting an, “AH!” Lansing went to shut the door, but the fae, with the strength of a ram, collided, skidding Lansing backward, and terrified she fought the door with all her might, attempting to close it, the faerie buzzing on the opposite side like a deranged horsefly.
“Help me!” she called, and quick William and Alex came up behind her and the three of them shoved with all their might. The fae buckled, then surged. The three slid backward, then rallied, pushing on. The fae gave one last surge, sending the three back again, until William in a crazed howl suddenly heaved forward like a force of nature, slamming the door closed and deftly locking it he threw his back against it, wild eyed and panting, and enthusiastically let out a holler of absolutely victory.
“A-HHHAAAAAAA!” he cried, eyes bulging from his head, and then like a switch had been flipped he toppled, like a puppet with its strings cut, flat on his back, head propped against the door, delirious, he went say something, but so quickly then passed out.
Lansing and Alex, speechless, stared at him. Alex sweating profusely and Lansing simply startled by the whole incident.
“Wow.” Lansing stated. “What, is going on, Alex?”
“Oh,” Alex panted, “Not much. Just the usual.”
The two jumped as the knocking began, the door pulsing with the vicious pounds of the faerie, still at it. Refusing to give up. Moments of faintly jingling could be heard, and then upon the window, the door, the other window, the door again, the fae rapped and rapped, seeking a way to get in. Alex and Lansing clutched each other in the middle of the Common Room, bumping into each other and the occasional chair or side table, turning and grabbing one another fearfully. Alex grabbed the lantern that had been sitting on a table, not really knowing why—her brain was scrambling. Lansing shook Alex’s arm, and hissed.
“What does it want? What IS it?” she asked.
“It’s a faerie. I think a pixie, but, I’m – I’m not really sure -”
“A pixie? Alex what in Aels have you and William been doing tonight!”
“I’m not really so sure about that anymore either,” Alex said under her breath, cringing as the faerie rattled the latched window shutters, making them bend in and out like lungs. “Aels, how can it be so strong! I thought it was harmless. Really!”
“Why is it after you?” Lansing said, a bit angry, though she still clung to Alex for protection.
Alex furrowed her brow, trying to think back, “Nrg! It must have been the mushroom Will stepped on! Everything was fine before that happened.”
Lansing went to speak again but was cut off by a sudden bustling on the roof. The two looked at each other, the fae absent from any of the windows and the door, and looking up at the ceiling, following the sound, the two listened. A creak was heard. Shuffling. Alex thought it seemed investigative, and suddenly, finding herself before the unlit fireplace, she grabbed Lansing arm, terror filled.
“It’s coming in through the – !”
William had woken at some point, and pipped, “What’s happening? I think I blacked out for a moment there.”
In a plume of soot and purple light the fae whizzed from out the hearth, Alex and Lansing dropping to their hands and knees as the faerie did several excited laps around the room, spraying glitter and ash everywhere, and then halting, it having spotted William by the door, wide eyed and completely off guard, it zoomed for him. He shrieked, as it grabbed his shoe, and spinning him around it pointed him towards the door, the door blasting open and nearly swinging off its hinges in a gust of dust and purple glints, with William waving himself around helpless as the tiny violet light took him and dragged him outside, Will’s cries of terror ringing.
“Oh no -!” Lansing cried.
“William!” Alex shrieked as the two bolted after him.
Outside, William scrambled with all his remaining strength, swinging limbs around uncontrollably in directions they were never meant for in attempt of ardent escape from the furious, relentless fae. Tuffs of grass sprung from all his clawing and flailing, making him look like a lawnmower from a distance; wiggling for his life, his captive foot slipped from its shoe, and free he flipped onto his belly and desperately crawled. But the fae, merciless, saw great opportunity in this—in fact, this was rather fortuitous—and eagerly began beating William with it. The shoe bopped William left and right, and dancing about in the grass he could not escape.
Exhausted, he began yelping, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry about your mushroom! I didn’t mean too – OW! It was an accident! OW! An ACCIDENT! OW OW!”
The faerie dropped the shoe, it hitting William’s back as he laid crouched in a fetal position. He looked up, and the fae rushed his face, glaring at him. William, for a moment, could see clearly its beady black eyes, razor features, jutted elbows and dark, scaly skin, and then, spitting a fountain of purple glitter into his face, it bolted off. Za-zooming! over the grass and disappearing; the light of the morning, devouring it.
Stunned, William sat in the wet grass, unsure what had just occurred, or if it had all been some horrible nightmare and he was about to wake up. It was then he noticed Lansing and Alex racing towards him, and just behind them a sea of students and professors, all in their robes and pajamas, some looking curious, though all the teachers were striding forth as though to kill him.
“Oh…oh dear.” he breathed, and then so passed out again.